Jacques Cartier Bridge
|Jacques Cartier Bridge|
|Carries||5 lanes of Route 134|
|Crosses||St. Lawrence River|
|Locale||Longueuil, Quebec and Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Maintained by||Transport Canada|
|Total length||2 687.42 m (2,255 ft)|
|Longest span||334.35 m (1,097 ft)|
|Opened||May 14, 1930|
The Jacques Cartier Bridge (French: pont Jacques-Cartier) is a steel truss cantilever bridge crossing the Saint Lawrence River from Montreal Island, Montreal, Quebec to the south shore at Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. The bridge crosses Île Sainte-Hélène in the centre of the river, where offramps allow access to the Parc Jean-Drapeau and La Ronde amusement park.
The five-lane highway bridge is 3,400 m (11,155 ft) in length, including the approach viaducts. There are approximately 35.4 million vehicle crossings annually, making it the second busiest bridge in Canada that is operated by the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, the first being Champlain Bridge, just a few kilometres upstream. It is the third busiest bridge in Canada overall after the Port Mann Bridge in Metro Vancouver (connecting Surrey to Coquitlam).
Together with Champlain Bridge, it is administered by the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), a federal agency which is a fully owned subsidiary of the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited.
Discussions began as early as 1874 about the construction of a new bridge to alleviate the congestion on Victoria Bridge, which was then a rail-only bridge, the wintertime ice bridge and the ferries used to connect the city to its south shore. The decision to build the bridge was made official in 1924. Construction was undertaken by the Dominion Bridge Company starting in 1925 and completed in 1930. It was opened to traffic on May 14 of that year.
The bridge was originally designed as a road, tramway, and pedestrian bridge. Tramway tracks were installed but never used. A parallel empty space used to be to the right of the roadway in each direction, through which the bridge's girders could be seen. The roadway was expanded in 1956 and 1959 to include the space allocated to the tramway tracks, adding an extra lane of traffic in each direction. The two sidewalks were outside the bridge proper.
To accommodate large ships using the new St. Lawrence Seaway, the span over the east channel of the river (the Warren truss) was raised an additional 80 feet (24.4 m) (to 120 feet or 36.6 metres) in 1957 and 1958. Traffic flow over the bridge was uninterrupted by this construction, through the installation of two Bailey bridges.
The structure was a toll bridge from its opening until 1962 and a toll plaza was located on the southern approach. The toll plaza area now houses the offices of the corporation that owns and operates the structure and the nearby Champlain Bridge. Tokens were issued for part of the period that tolls were collected.
During 2001 and 2002 the entire deck of the bridge was replaced. The sidewalks were also widened to a width of 8-foot (2.44 m), and the sidewalk on the western side of the bridge was made a bike path.
In 2004, a suicide prevention barrier was installed. Until then the bridge saw an average of 10 suicides a year.
During the summer season, the bridge is regularly completely closed to vehicular traffic for the fireworks competition held at La Ronde. It becomes foot traffic only, sometimes drawing crowds of 50,000+.
||This section may contain original research. (April 2011)|
Recently, this bridge has been shut down several times due to several protesters who have individually climbed on the superstructure of the bridge or on a sign in the Longueuil side of the bridge. Two of them were from the Fathers for Justice group, while a third claimed he was part of the group. Recently, a man wearing a Canadian flag climbed the structure of the bridge. Most of the protests led to massive traffic congestions during rush hour.
Jacques-Cariter Bridge from the Concorde Bridge
See also 
- "The Jacques Cartier Bridge" (pdf). The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "Jacques Cartier Bridge (QC 134)". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- Gregory, Helen (2007). Brisbane Then and Now. Wingfield, South Australia: Salamander Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-74173-011-1.
- "La barrière anti-suicide a prouvé son utilité" (in French). Le Devoir. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- Jacques Cartier Bridge at Structurae
- Steve Anderson's MontrealRoads.com: Jacques Cartier Bridge (QC 134)